Page after page of Confederate-themed goods vanished from Walmart's website as the retail giant said Monday that it was pulling the merchandise in the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shootings.
"We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer," Walmart said in a statement Monday. "We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our web site.
"We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell," said the company, which is based in rural Bentonville, Arkansas. "Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly — this is one of those instances."
Sure enough, a search for "Confederate" directly from Walmart's product search page yielded exactly zero hits Monday night.
Searching the site through Google returned hundreds of products (like a Confederate army Civil War kepi cap, only $13.99) — but the links led to dead pages.
Walmart issued the statement in response to an inquiry from CNN shortly after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the state's senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott — all of them Republicans — called for the removal of a Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol.
The flag became a flashpoint after a 21-year-old white man gunned down nine people last week at historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Investigators called the shooting a hate crime.